Think outside the crayon box and go see a new or classic film the next time a rainy day storms in. These five Portland-area theaters make movie-going less of a major production for families with crazy cheap ticket prices, family-friendly matinee times, quality kid food and in-house babysitting services, in case you need a little Han Solo time.

academy-theater photo: Chris[tmas] K via creative commons flickr

The Academy Theater
Babysitting and a play loft? Yes, it’s true. The Academy Theater is the best kid-friendly movie theater in Portland because they make parents’ lives so much easier when it comes to movie-going. They go one step beyond mommy matinees by offering to babysit your child in their play loft while you catch a flick and unwind.

The Academy also offers double-feature Mondays, wherein kids can see two films for $4 ($6/adult) and Two for Tuesdays (buy one ticket, get one free for the same show). Bonus: This theater is beautiful to behold and serves up yummy food, including Flying Pie pizza by the slice, Nathan’s hot dogs and Miyamoto sushi.

Babysitting is offered on Fridays between 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and for all shows before 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Babysitting is by reservation only – no drop-ins – and costs $9.50 per child, ages 2-8 years for the length of the film. Save time by filling out the babysitting release form before you arrive.

7818 SE Stark St.

Hollywood Theater
Aptly named for a movie house, Hollywood Theater offers up lots of cinematic family fun. Their Family Pictures monthly series is a monthly series of films, like Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang, that are perfect for kiddos. The Family Pictures are on Saturday and Sunday afternoons only and tickets are just $5/general admission and $2/kids 12 and under.

Older kids from ages 7-18 may also enjoy their animation workshops, giving them hands-on experience in bringing their imaginations to life.

4122 NE Sandy Blvd.

Kennedy School Theater

photo: McMenamins Kennedy School Theatre by Get Some Photos via creative commons

McMenamins Kennedy School
From Tues. – Thurs., this location offers Mommy Matinees for the first showing of the day. On these days, you’re welcome to bring even the fussiest of babies along while you catch a film (ratings range from G-R). There’s also plenty of room to roll in your over-stuffed stroller, as well as space for all of your baby gear on their comfy couches. Family Matinee films are offered on Fri. – Mon. for the first two showings. Tickets are cheap, cheap, cheap and just $4/adults; $2/kids 11 and under; free for kids 2 and under. Don’t forget to take your swimsuits and towels, too, for the heated soaking pool afterwards. Kids are allowed before 6 p.m.

5736 N.E. 33rd Ave.

Laurelhurst Theater
Here, children under 12 can catch a kid’s matinee for the bargain basement price of just $2 (adult tickets are $4). As a huge bonus, unlike the big theaters, you won’t have to sit through a half hour of previews –  more like, five minutes of previews, and there are no commercials shown before the film. Score! Check the theater’s schedule ahead of time to make sure a kid’s show is playing on the day you want to catch a flick.

2735 East Burnside St.

Valley Theater
Locals love the Family Matinees at this theater, and all shows at all times for all ages are the bargain price of $4/person. They’re also worthy of your next date night (after 8 p.m. no one under 21 is allowed) for drinks and a movie with your partner (and no whippersnappers). Best of both worlds – family friendly during the day and grown-up friendly after the kids go to bed. Also good to know – they are a cash-only establishment.

9360 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.

What’s your favorite theater in town? Let us know in the Comments below!

– Suzie Ridgway